Nearly 40 per cent investors say audit meets their needs

Less than half of the investment community believes company audits meet the needs of investors, shows a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers

Less than half of the investment community believes company audits in the current form meet the needs of investors, a survey by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers shows.

PwC said 41 per cent of the investment community and 68% of the businesses surveyed feel that the existing statutory audit meets the needs of investors.

It said 32% of investors and 52% of businesses believe the audit is effective at meeting the needs of wider stakeholders, such as employees, customers and suppliers.

PwC gathered hundreds of points of view over the past eight months through roundtable events, meetings with senior business leaders, investors and other interested parties, an online forum, and a survey of business leaders and investors to capture ideas about the future of audit.

Its paper outlines opportunities for the audit, corporate reporting and the regulatory environment to develop to address the concerns and needs of stakeholders.

Head of audit at PwC UK, Hemione Hudson said that they aimed to broaden the debate and have listened to a wide range of voices engaged with corporate reporting.

The findings suggest that the audit could go further to address the needs of the business community and investors. This underlines the need for the audit to evolve to meet the expectations of stakeholders, and to help rebuild trust in businesses and the capital markets. Auditing has made a significant contribution to the UK’s economic health over many decades and they want it to continue to contribute to driving growth, trade and prosperity, Hudson said.

She said that at PwC, they are working hard to ensure that the quality of their own audits continue to improve, and have put in place a substantial programme of measures to support this. But it is clear that improving quality alone will not restore trust in the audit.

Hudson said that the audit needs to evolve and a more fundamental review of the entire corporate reporting system is required to ensure stakeholders can have confidence in the information they need for decision making.

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